Profiles in Recovery
Lara Frazier’s road to recovery reads like a script to a primetime television drama. She recalls, “I called my parents from a pay phone and told them I had been kidnapped. They asked me where I was, but I had no idea. My father flew from Texas to L.A with a picture of me and walked the streets of Venice and Hollywood Boulevard in order to find me. He would ask “have you seen this girl?”. “
Her addiction to prescription pills had taken over. “I used to look in the mirror and not recognize myself. My addiction made me do things I would never have done before – including be rude, mean, pushy, lie, steal, manipulate and cheat. “
Many would let their addiction define them, but Frazier choose to let her addiction REDEFINE her. “I learned my recovery is my greatest gift and it is the one thing I am proudest of. “, she stated.
Frazier started blogging (www.larafrazier.com.) to share her truth. “I wanted to be proud of my recovery. I wanted to write from a place of honesty and truth. Writing is healing for me. However, my writing has also been healing for others.” As a powerhouse in the digital recovery world, she continues to influence and inspire others as she candidly documents her journey.
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What I lost to addiction:
There is so much I lost to addiction, but I choose to focus on what I gained. There is a quote by Rebecca Campbell that reads “bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open because the world needs you open.” I truly believe that my addiction was meant to happen exactly as it did. Without it, I would never have found recovery and I would never have morphed into the beautiful woman that I am today. Today, I am proud of the life I live. I am also proud of the person I am and the person I am becoming.
In my addiction, I lost time – over five years of my life was lost. I lost my relationships with friends and I lost my relationship with my family. I lost jobs. I lost my mind. I lost pets. I lost people. I lost who I used to be and in recovery, I became who I was truly meant to be.
My proudest moment is when I pushed publish on my blog www.larafrazier.com. This is my sobriety blog and it is a story of healing in sobriety, through addiction, in life and love, and in all the other big huge moments of fear and magic that we rarely talk about, but we should. This was the first time I was willing to be truly honest with the world. I was tired of feeling shame around my addiction. I wanted to be proud of my recovery. I wanted to write from a place of honesty and truth. Writing is healing for me. However, my writing has also been healing for others. Because I share my truth, I give permission for others to share theirs. We are all passing on a torch when we tell the truth.
Rock bottom moment:
I’ve had so many rock bottoms I can’t even count. However, I do want to say, that you don’t have to have a rock bottom to get help. I believe that early intervention is key and the sooner we can say goodbye to substances that are making us feel less than our best, the better off we can be. I have so many girlfriends who are sober “just for the health of it.” This was not my experience. My experience was that I was going to die or go permanently insane if I did not get help.
One of my rock bottom moments was when I was living in my car and staying at a seedy hostel near Hollywood Boulevard. I had taken so many amphetamines that I was experiencing drug induced psychosis. I called my parents from a pay phone and told them I had been kidnapped. They asked me where I was, but I had no idea. My father flew from Texas to L.A with a picture of me and walked the streets of Venice and Hollywood Boulevard in order to find me. He would ask “have you seen this girl?” When my father did find me, I weighed 83lbs and was absolutely lost and broken. I later learned that he called my mother and sister and told them to start preparing for my funeral because I was going to die. That was a rock bottom moment and yet, I went to rehab – relapsed, and just kept using.
On my bucket list:
I have this silly, but bucket list dream that I will one day own a home on the Venice canals and live there with my lover and my pig. I don’t even think pigs are allowed in Venice (even though she is a registered emotional support piggy) but, I have a dream. There was a time when I dreamed of the life I am living now. When I look back at my thoughts, I thought this life would be impossible. Because, how would I ever get sober and maintain my recovery? Impossibilities became possibilities and I always remember that I once prayed for the things I have now. My life is a consistent, constant blessing EVEN when I am insane in my own head with stress, pressure, & worry. Why is it a blessing? Because I live in the gratitude and reality of where I am. Sober and at peace.
Favorite recovery quote:
My favorite recovery quote is “we can do hard things.” I believe I first heard this phrase in Glennon Doyle’s book ‘Carry on Warrior.’ Whenever women reach out to me for help, I always remind them of this. I also remind myself of this. We can do hard things. All we have to do is the next right thing and it will work out. When we live in integrity and truth, everything is always OK in the end.
When cravings come:
I don’t know if what I experience is cravings or just an unlearning of a pattern that had been ingrained in me. For a long time, I believed that I had to give up drugs and alcohol. I saw my recovery as a life sentence. When I started reframing my thoughts and realized that not drinking or using is actually a radical gift – my cravings became almost obsolete. I believe that we live in a beautiful, but sick society. People think that drinking copious amounts of alcohol is normal, when it’s not. Alcohol is ethanol – it is poison and a known cariogenic. It is not normal to be able to tolerate alcohol in any amount. However, when I do feel the urge to unwind with a glass of wine, I remind myself of the beautiful life I live. I think of what I am grateful for and I focus on the positive. As a sober woman, I am present, alive, and awake. That is truly the best way anyone could live.
At my worst, I was:
At my worst, I was lost and broken and suicidal. I swallowed half a bottle of pills in my car one night and then decided, that maybe, just maybe life was worth it. My parents unconditional love for me showed me that there were still people who loved me regardless of my flaws, my mistakes, and my addiction. My parents knew who I truly was and forgave the fact that addiction had taken over my life. I used to look in the mirror and not recognize myself. My addiction made me do things I would never have done before – including be rude, mean, pushy, lie, steal, manipulate and cheat.
What I learned about myself:
I learned that as a person who has overcome addiction, I am strong and resilient. I had to fight for my life in a way I had never imagined before. However, I came to understand that my bravery, courage, and willingness to just keep going proved how strong I am. I discovered that I am not the person who I was before my addiction. That woman cared too much about what the world thought of her and she never really knew who she was. In my recovery, I have learned who I am, what I stand for, what I won’t tolerate, and how deeply I can love. I learned my recovery is my greatest gift and it is the one thing I am proudest of.
I get inspired by:
I get inspired by people who are brave enough to live in their recovery and own their story. I am a fierce believer in the power of owning our stories. I truly believe that more people should be open about their recovery. However, I know that everyone walks their own path. The woman I admire the most are those who taught me how to own my truth and how to speak only truth. These women include Holly Whitaker of www.hipsobriety.com; Laura McKowen of www.lauramckowen.com and Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Love Warrior and Carry On Warrior. These are the women I first found when I was new to recovery. They were bravely living in honesty and writing and talking about their recovery. They were living their truth and they inspired me to live mine.
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If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].